Why is predicting the future so difficult? Over and over again, even our most highly educated guesses go disastrously wrong. Of course, the smart play would be not to try to guess what’s coming next. But that’s not how we’re wired. We desperately need prophets, even false ones, to help us narrow the infinity of plausible futures down to one or at least to a manageable handful. We look at the present and see the present; they see the seeds of the future. They are our advance scouts, infiltrating the undiscovered country, stealing over the border to bring back priceless reconnaissance maps of the world to come.
Lev Grossman – Forward Thinking